An autonomous mini-bus will soon connect several municipalities in France, allowing residents to travel without taking their car… if they trust the robot computer that drives.
How to get around, without a car, in regions or outskirts of cities poorly served by public transport? This is an essential problem: millions of French people have no other solution than taking their car to make short journeys or trips to train stations or shops. , or to their place of work. Very often, households are forced to own two vehicles, cover the costs of insurance and maintenance and have no alternative solution. p>
But it could well be that, very quickly, things will change with new solutions. And one of them could well be through autonomous shuttles, it is up to say without a driver. This is not science fiction: several projects are being developed. The study is carried out in several cities across the country, and some are very advanced. Near La Rochelle, it’s even very concrete.
As reported by France Bleu, eight municipalities located in the third ring of the La Rochelle conurbation will be served by four driverless shuttles, in just one year. The launch of this project was even acté officially Saturday October 14 in the artisanal zone of Croix-Fort in Paris. Saint-Médard-d'Aunis. Everything is ready: financing, with 13 million euros released, including 8 coming from the State; the technical solution, with the use of the "Yelo Deta" ; journeys.
The shuttle test impressed the local press. It must be said that everything looks simple and secure. and what is proposed is very attractive. A Renault Master model shuttle, electric motor, equipped with of eight places, will circulate in eight municipalities. The driver? A computer, then. Isabelle Paulin-Jardin, head of the La Rochelle project for the company Parisian Milla, who developed this shuttle, promises a very high level of security.
La Rochelle Agglo © La Rochelle Agglo
At France Bleu, she indicates that four cameras, around ten lidars (laser sensors), a link with several satellites, and a permanent connection with a supervision center are planned. An operator will follow the shuttles in operation and a human “backup” driver will be present in the first weeks of the experiment. The shuttle will run at a maximum speed of 60 km/h.
The mayor of Saint-Médard-d'Aunis is won over: "It's very good . We don't even realize that there is no driver. […] There are nine hamlets and people are systematically obliged to take a vehicle, or to be taken, to join a bus line. In the future, someone #39;one who needs it, they will take the application or call, and they can have a shuttle that will pick them up at their destination. such time,” explains the councilor to France Blue.